The Dos and Don’ts of Address Formatting in the US



  1. Use Standard Abbreviations: Use standard abbreviations for street suffixes (e.g., St. for Street, Ave. for Avenue, Blvd. for Boulevard) to ensure consistency and compatibility with postal systems.
  2. Include Apartment or Suite Numbers: Include apartment or suite numbers on a separate line below the street address to ensure accurate delivery, especially for multi-unit buildings.
  3. Use Proper Capitalization: Capitalize the first letter of each word in the address (except for prepositions, conjunctions, and articles) for clarity and readability.
  4. Include City, State, and ZIP Code: Always include the city, state, and ZIP code on the last line of the address to specify the destination and facilitate accurate sorting and delivery.
  5. Align Address Elements Properly: Align address elements (street address, apartment/suite number, city, state, and ZIP code) flush left and use a consistent format (e.g., single-spacing between elements) for a professional appearance.
  6. Use a Legible Font and Size: Use a legible font and font size (typically 10-12 points) for printed addresses to ensure readability and avoid misinterpretation.
  7. Include Return Address: Always include a return address on mail and packages to facilitate return delivery in case of non-delivery or address issues.


  1. Use Non-Standard Abbreviations: Avoid using non-standard or ambiguous abbreviations that may cause confusion or errors in address processing (e.g., using “Rd.” instead of “Road” or “Ave” instead of “Avenue”).
  2. Use Symbols or Special Characters: Avoid using symbols or special characters (such as “&” or “#” symbols) in the address, as they may not be recognized by postal systems and could cause delivery delays or errors.
  3. Omit Apartment or Suite Numbers: Never omit apartment or suite numbers for multi-unit buildings, as this can lead to misdelivery or returned mail.
  4. Use All Caps: Avoid using all capital letters for the entire address, as it can be difficult to read and may not comply with postal formatting standards.
  5. Use Inconsistent Formatting: Maintain consistent formatting throughout the address (e.g., consistent spacing, alignment, and punctuation) to ensure clarity and accuracy.
  6. Omit ZIP Code: Never omit the ZIP code, as it is essential for accurate sorting and delivery. Always include the ZIP code along with the city and state to specify the destination area.
  7. Crowd the Address Lines: Avoid crowding multiple address elements onto a single line or overlapping lines, as this can make the address difficult to read and may lead to processing errors.

By following these dos and don’ts of address formatting, you can ensure that your addresses are clear, accurate, and compliant with postal standards, leading to efficient mail processing and delivery in the US.

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